Saturday, 3 June 2017

Review: The Lost Hours by Karen White

When Piper Mills was twelve, she helped her grandfather bury a box that belonged to her grandmother in the backyard. For twelve years, it remained untouched.

Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper’s dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather’s death, she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn’t exist—or does it? And after her grandmother is sent away to a nursing home, she remembers the box buried in the backyard. In it are torn pages from a scrapbook, a charm necklace—and a newspaper article from 1939 about the body of an infant found floating in the Savannah River. The necklace’s charms tell the story of three friends during the 1930s— each charm added during the three months each friend had the necklace and recorded her life in the scrapbook. Piper always dismissed her grandmother as not having had a story to tell. And now, too late, Piper finds she might have been wrong.

Paperback, 343 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by NAL Trade

Terri's Thoughts

I was looking for a book to read, not sure what to look for, when I remember that I had read some other work by Karen White and enjoyed them so decided to pick up another one.  The reason I chose this one was because I was looking for an audio book and this was the first one I found by White and it sounded interesting.

One small comment on audio books.  I have a love/hate relationship with them.  I love them for the fact that I can multi-task while listening.  I can browse the internet, cook dinner & clean the house without putting the book down.  This means that when I am not working, I can literally be listening to the book the rest of the time.  What I hate about them is that they take so long to get through.  Knowing that I can read at a much faster pace, I would be able to solve the mysteries and come to the conclusion that much faster kills me.  Patience is not one of my virtues and audio books require them in spades.  Knowing this going in only slightly makes it easier, I just kept focusing on the fact that I could listen to the story during times I would not have been able to read it if it was a paperpack.

Now back to the story.  As I previously mentioned, I have read a couple of other books by White before picking this up.  After reading (listening to) this story, I don't know why I have not read all of White's books already.  I was instantly reminded of what I previously enjoyed in her work, and knew that I was in for a treat.  Her ability to mix together stories of the present and past, complex relationships and hidden secrets is a skill she has mastered.  In many stories of this genre, the plot that is centered in the past usually strongly outweighs the present day story.  This is not the case in this book.  The present day story does not remain in the shadows of the past, and holds its own in both substance and my interest with its complex relationships and fragile characters.

I will not spend a lot of time on the plot.  The synopsis describes the storyline well and based on the fact that the story was released in 2009 and has had a ton of reviews, I am sure it has all been said and I think I made it clear that I really enjoyed this story.  I love a story that unravel a mystery or secret in the past yet has a storyline in the present.  Those who know me will also know that this stories that bounce between present and past are my favorite and also tend to garner the best ratings from me. This is why I read White's work to begin with and why I am glad I have added another book to my read pile.

If you like strong yet flawed characters, a glimpse in to the past when times were not as they are today and a story of love and friendship, look no further.  This one is a good one!

About the Author

After playing hooky one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, Karen White knew she wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, Karen pursued a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer and wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year, and has twice won the National Readers’ Choice Award.

Karen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and currently writes what she refers to as ‘grit lit’—Southern women’s fiction—and has also expanded her horizons into writing a mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. Her 22nd novel, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY, was published January 10, 2017 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

Karen hails from a long line of Southerners but spent most of her growing up years in London, England and is a graduate of the American School in London. When not writing, she spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children, and two spoiled Havanese dogs.

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